Big-wave champ Makua Rothman delivers bombshell message to fans, “Surfing is at the weakest point it has ever been!”

“Internet armchair quarterbacks” thoroughly chastised.

Now, anybody who has actually had real food poisoning knows the torture, the abject pain of foreign bugs in tummy. There, of course, can be many causes with varying degrees of yuck. I once caught amoebic dysentery in Cairo, Egypt, for instance, and spent seven whole days hooked up to an IV in a Jordanian hospital. I’ve also had the classic vomit fits lasting all night.

And yet, no form of food poisoning has the bearer drinking a beer minutes after claiming.

Filipe Toledo is a special guy, though.

Days ago, the globe watched as the aforementioned surf champion cowered at Pipeline during the very first day of the World Surf League’s very first day of 2024. He managed a 1.77 that was generous, sitting on priority without paddling then pretending to get himself out of position. A shameful performance no doubt followed by and even more shameful one.

Pulling out and citing food poisoning.

While condemnation for his spinelessness came quick, and from all corners, Surfer Magazine’s artificial intelligence software had a different take. Shall we read Filipe Toledo is Going to Make his Critics Look Like Fools together?

On the opening day of the Pipe Pro, after an anemic showing in his first heat, Toledo withdrew from the contest citing food poisoning. The darkest recesses of the Internet cried foul, claiming he was scared of the conditions at Pipe or some such nonsense. It’s a farcical assumption for a number of reasons.

For starters, Pipe wasn’t that gnarly by the time the Elimination Round rolled around. Toledo got fifth in the event last year. And while he’s never won at Pipe, over the course of his career, his results there have been respectable with a number of quarterfinal appearances. In our conversation he expressed that he was excited to get the season started at Pipe, as well as noted his comfort level at Teahupo’o going into the Olympic year.

This brings up a second point. For anyone that’s spent any significant amount of time on the North Shore, the dirty, little secret is that it’s almost impossible not to get sick there at one point or another. Surfers from around the world show up, stay in houses together, share germs and eat suspect food. When it comes to one’s health, danger lurks around every corner. Day old Spam musubi can be lethal.

The silliness of the various strands of this argument shows that AI still needs much tuning in order to actually make human appeals, but the most egregious bit is at the end. Day old Spam musubi can be lethal? As any North Shore traveler knows, Spam musubi is one of the greatest culinary treats. A thick slice of extremely processed ham affixed to a bed of rice by a seaweed belt all smeared in teriyaki.

Yum with the keywords being EXTREMELY PROCESSED. A year-old Spam musubi would only taste lightly funky. The robot, in any case, makes multiple appeals to the “conversations” it had with Toledo ending with “My take on it, give Toledo a break. He’s human, he’s on the North Shore, shit happens. Literally. You don’t see any of his rivals discounting him, just a bunch of Internet armchair quarterbacks that have never even had a conversation with him.”


Is that’s what’s happening here?

Internet armchair quarterbacks getting it all wrong?

David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, discussed the “Pipeline Poltroon” at great length during today’s weekly chat. How good a word is “poltroon?”

Poltroon Toledo.

Enjoy here.

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